The Sony Cyber-shot HX100V is slightly larger than its predecessor the HX1 but retains its styling. The location and design of control points has also seen very little change. The HX100V's protruding hand grip, center-mounted pop-up flash and diopter adjustment dial for the electronic viewfinder (EVF) are hallmark features of mini-DSLR, 'bridge' type cameras.
The articulating 3" rear LCD panel has 921,000 dots, compared to 201,600 dots in the built-in EVF. An eye-sensor located to the right of the EVF automatically disables the LCD screen when you look through the viewfinder. In addition, there is a Finder/LCD button located on the camera's top plate that allows you to manually activate either the viewfinder or rear LCD if you'd prefer to switch manually.
The control layout of the HX100V follows a reasonably standard template, with the zoom lever surrounding the shutter button on the front of the handgrip, just forward of focus mode and custom buttons. The movie record and playback buttons sit along an angled plane to the right of the viewfinder, well within hand's reach while in the shooting position. The on/off button is recessed ever so slightly into the camera body. This decreases the risk of powering the camera off or on accidentally, which is especially helpful given the camera's rather lengthy startup time. Along the rear of the camera you'll find a thumb wheel, menu button, 4-way controller and a help guide button.
Control points located on the top camera plate allow quick access to zoom operation and focus modes. The custom button can be configured to activate AE lock, select WB settings or enable the ND filter.
The cardinal points on the 4-way controller are used to display on-screen information settings, activate the built-in flash, choose a self-timer option and set the drive mode.
The '?' button calls up Sony's comprehensive in-camera guide where you can read operational, troubleshooting and icon guides.
Helpfully, topics can be searched from an alphabetical list of keywords.
The eyepiece sensor, located to the right of the viewfinder, automatically toggles between activating the EVF and rear LCD; a great timesaver for those who like to have both options readily available. There is a manual Finder/LCD button by which you can restrict camera display to either the EVF or LCD.
Sitting just behind the pop-up flash compartment is a stereo microphone that records in Dolby Digital format for AVCHD video capture.
The HX100V has ports for USB, HDMI and DC power connections.
The HX100V can use either a Memory Stick or SD card in the same slot. The camera comes with a Lithium-Ion NP-FH50 battery which has a CIPA rating of 410 images with the rear LCD active and 440 images when using the viewfinder.